The Purple mangosteen, botanical name Garcinia magostana, simply referred to as mangosteen, is an ultra-tropical slow growing evergreen tree that is cultivated for its edible fruit.
Producing a rich, golden-yellow flesh with excellent texture, Butternut squash is one of the most popular varieties of hard winter squash. Butternuts are a smooth, long-necked bowling pin- or bell-shaped squash, encased with a pinkish-tan, hard rind.
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The Blazei mushroom is a stout mushroom with a truncated earthen white stem and a semi rounded brown cap that begins to scale with age. Its flesh is chalk white and crumbly in consistency. As the mushroom matures or if it is bruised, its surface develops a yellow hue. It is the marzipan aroma and flavor of the Blazei mushroom that makes it so unique to the mushroom landscape.
Blazei mushrooms are available most of the year.
The Blazei mushroom, Agaricus blazei Murrill, is also known as Himematsutake in Japan and was given the name Piedade mushroom, after the town where it was first discovered in Brazil. Other marketed names include Royal Sun Agaricus, Mandelpilz, and Almond Mushroom. It is also commonly referred to as "AbM", for its scientific name and the scientist who named it. It should not be confused with the species, Agaricus subrufescens, which it often is assumed to be.
The Blazei mushroom is sought out as much for its medicinal properties as it is for culinary purposes. It is considered to be one of the most important edible and culinary-medicinal mushroom species. Blazei mushrooms contain significant amounts of beta-glucans, which are naturally occurring polysaccharides known to have immune-boosting properties. It is used to treat many diseases such as atherosclerosis, hepatitis, diabetes, dermatitis and cancer.
Blazei mushrooms are known as much for their medicinal as culinary purposes. The mushrooms may be consumed fresh or dried and reconstituted in stock to flavor broth, or steeped in hot water to use as tea. The sweet almond-like flavor of the Blazei pairs well with mild, fresh cheeses, herbs, tofu and Asian greens. Mix with other mild, wild mushrooms as strongly flavored varieties may compete with the sweetness of the Blazei.
According to Brazilian legend, the Blazei mushroom is said to have health-sustaining properties. Those living near the mushroom’s city of origin, Piedade, were said to be healthier and less likely to suffer from serious diseases than those who lived in neighboring towns. To the native people of this area, Blazei mushrooms are called Cogumelo da Vida and Cogumelo de Deus, which is Portuguese for mushroom of life and mushroom of God, respectively.
Agraricus blazei Murill was first found in a small town in the mountain region near Sao Paolo, Brazil. The Blazei mushroom’s first historical mention was in a Byzantine medical treatise from Roman times. Blazei mushrooms were found in Brazil by Japanese scientist, Takatishi Furumoto in 1960, who took them to Japan with tales of its medicinal benefits. Since then, the Blazei mushroom has been cultivated for medicinal use and has only recently made its appearance in the commercial markets.